The Flash, ‘Don’t Run’: Barry Is Caught in a Trap, and He Can’t Walk Out

The Flash, Season 4, Episode 9, “Don’t Run”

With the wedding performed and the Crisis solved, Barry and the gang go back to business as usual. Of course, business as usual for the STAR Labs crew includes scary kidnapping, fearsome dudes in flying chairs, fights on the city’s rooftops, and murder. Merry Christmas, everybody!  Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of The Flash:

What’s the scoop: Barry and Caitlin are both kidnapped by their personal nemesis. DeVoe captures Barry so he can brag about how much smarter he is than Barry. Caitlin, who is feeling down because everyone likes Killer Frost more than her, is grabbed by Amunet at Jitters, because the villainous overlord needs the good doctor to perform surgery on a newly discovered telepathic meta from the bus (named Brainstorm by Cisco) who she has a buyer for. This meta happens to be young, strapping and totally uninterested in Killer Frost, so Caitlin is immediately drawn to him.

Meanwhile in B-plot Land: I didn’t miss Ralph Dibney during the wedding episode last week, but the Ralph redemption tour carries on. This time, it’s the spirit of the season that helps Ralph realize that it’s his nature to be a dick and he should do something about it. By the end of the episode, he apologizes to Caitlin for being a jerk about Killer Frost, and he decorates Joe’s house for Christmas because he wanted to do something nice for his friends.

What about the action: This episode was less about action, and more about tension. Looking for both Cailtin and Barry stretched Team Flash’s resources too thin. After Joe and Harry confront DeVoe at his house, Harry makes Iris face facts, the team has to search for either Barry or Iris, but not both. In reality Barry and Caitlin are doing a pretty good job on their own. Caitlin outfoxes Amunet just before Cisco and Ralph arrive to finish the great escape. Barry vibrates himself invisible, but needs to take off his gloves to complete the ruse. DeVoe turns off the force field holding Barry captive, Barry escapes and a fight ensues. The Future Chair transports them both over the city where the battle continues eventually with DeVoe and Barry splashing down in the river.

GIF quote of the week:

What’s next: Thanks to the complicated coda in the episode, it’s not supposed to be looking good for Barry. Stay with me here … DeVoe turns out to be Amunet’s buyer. Despite the rescue and such, Team Flash is so concerned about making it to Joe’s Christmas party that they forget to send Brainstorm out of town, or into some kind of protective custody. Amunet snatches him off the streets almost immediately. DeVoe has surmised that Brainstorm’s powers will allow that body to contain DeVoe’s mind without the crippling side effects. So, he makes the switcheroo, and uses the husk of his old body into a parting shot to Barry. DeVoe stages a murder scene in Barry’s apartment and gets the cops to come crashing in, just as Barry realizes the mess he’s in. Barry is arrested for murder, which successfully hangs the cliff and sets up a trial to start the second half of the season.

Last impressions:  The stuff with Caitlin was welcome because the show has forgotten about Danielle Pannabaker at times, however, the “Catlin becomes smitten with the wolf in sheep’s clothing” is officially overdone. While it’s supposed to be concerning that Barry is arrested, it’s difficult to work up that much worry when DeVoe’s motives aren’t that clear, and anyone who’s ever seen an episode or two of Law & Order can see there are enough forensic inconsistencies at the scene (it was a stabbing and Barry has zero blood on him; there’s no blood spray on the walls; the wounds were made post-mortem; time of death would likely place Barry at STAR Labs, with six alibi witnesses; the victim has a goddamn flip-top skull that exposes his brain) to create reasonable doubt. But, the show felt like it needed to have some kind of dramatic ending before the break, so it’s better to have a flimsy murder trial, than an unnecessary character death.

Craig Wack

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